I’m going to try to keep it basic for those who are unfamiliar with computers. Please let me know if I need to clarify further, by contacting me.
To have a website you need 2 basic things, hosting and a domain.
Hosting is a place to put your files. This means that there is a physical location somewhere that has a computer that holds the images, text, and coding that makes your website look the way it does.
A domain is an address that your website is at on the internet. A domain is not a physical address, this is the name of your website. For example, my domain is monzanita.com. Now the title and site name are whatever I want it to be, such as Monzanita’s Web Services or Websites R Us. To access my website people type in monzanita.com or http://monzanita.com to get to my website.
If you purchase a domain and you purchase hosting you are still missing a vital part of your website- the design. The design can be built by hiring a designer (shameless self-advertisement goes here) or by building your own website.
Wix, Weebly, Squarespace
There are many do-it-yourself website companies available now. These companies would be giving you hosting in your package with an easy to use ‘WYSIWYG’ platform (what you see is what you get). There are many options of companies to go with. There are two things you want to look for if you choose a company like this. First, is to make sure you will be able to customize it as you wish. Secondly, make sure that the company updates their software or platform rather than phasing it out.
For example, I used to work for GoDaddy and they had one of the first platforms like this and everyone knew of ‘Website Tonight’. Most of the time when they update that builder (I saw the change from Website Builder Version 6 to Website Builder Version 7 to GoCentral) you would have to redesign or rebuild your website. Now please keep in mind that websites should be looked at and redesigned or at least have some major updates every few years to make sure they are working with the latest technology. Also, websites should be updated regularly to help your SEO (search engine optimization). The SEO stuff is unrelated at this point, I will go into that in another post.
The types of websites I design I build using WordPress. I am not able to build a WordPress website on the hosting you may have from a WYSIWYG platform like Weebly or something similar. There are many WordPress based hosting plans or plans like cPanel that you can install WordPress onto.
The way I build most of my WordPress websites I build in a way that it still is WYSIWYG unless there is something that I specifically have to go in and code. I build them this way because I can teach my clients to easily make simple changes if they would like to.
.Com, .Co, .Org
Domain names are something that has to be completely unique. There are no duplicate domain names. This does make them “worth” different values. Available domain names are going to be valued at whatever the company selling them may list them, such as GoDaddy sells .com for $14.99 per year. Now, if a private party owns it they are able to sell it on GoDaddy’s website at whatever price they want. They call it a “Premium” domain name.
Domain names have had different endings called TLDs like .com, .org, .net and a few others almost forever. Now, they are coming up with new domain names that can be everything from .guru, .cars, .nyc, etc. There are many to choose from. What you want to choose for your TLD is based on who your target market is. With a target audience of anyone older than Millennials I would stick to the traditional .com, .org or .net.
A sub-domain is a word, phrase or something before the domain (so technically, www. is a subdomain). If you are offered a domain on a website like Wix that is example.wix.com and you are trying to run a business, please find a domain. It will make your website look much more professional. Some companies use sub-domains as a way to organize their website, such as shop.monzanita.com for an e-commerce section.
Domain Name Privacy
ICANN is pretty much the company that rules the internet. They require that the person that owns the domain name list their Name, Phone Number, Address and Email Address in a WhoIs database. This means that if someone wants to look up who owns a domain name, your name would show up.
There is a loophole to this rule. Companies now allow you to pay for “Privacy”. Privacy is where the company you purchased your domain name from will show their information instead of yours. This will help prevent people from spamming your email address or getting your personal information.
Costs Involved Starting a Website
I touched on some of the costs of the domain names but I wanted to break it down further. These costs will vary company to company, I would research a few before deciding. I also would make sure the company you go with has good customer support, many companies you can call before purchasing to see how quickly a warm body answers the phone.
- Domain – Yearly Cost
- Premium Domain – Additional Initial Cost
- Domain Name Privacy – Yearly Cost
- Hosting – Monthly Cost – Some discounts for yearly or multiple years up front.
Additional items that can be purchased would be your SSL, email addresses, email marketing, additional site security, as well as many other marketing services. I will be going over these things in later posts or I can go over them with you personally.
Now For the Sales Pitch
I love working with small businesses. I am happy to help you understand what kind of website hosting and domain is needed for your business. My initial consultations are free of charge, whether you want to use my services or not. We will discuss what is best for your business. I will put together a quote for you after our call, and it will look better and better the more time you spend on a do-it-yourself website builder. All joking aside, I offer very low rates, especially for the number of services included.
I love to talk on the phone! Give me a call at 602-574-1999 to schedule your consultation today!